Jump to content

Wordy


Comicality

281 views

Wordy

Whooo….now here’s a challenge that I can wrap my head around.

How to write an article about being ‘too wordy’...without, in fact, being ‘too wordy’. Hehehe, wish me luck with this one, people! ::Fingers Crossed::

One repeated bit of constructive criticism that I often get when it comes to my writing has been pretty consistent. And that is...I am too wordy in all of my stories. And it’s the truth. I definitely have to concede defeat when it comes to trying to defend that desperate need to get all of those feelings out of me at one time and digitally scribble them out on this screen while I’m still caught in the undertow of it all. Strike while the iron is hot, as they say. I know that it may come off as babbling or overdoing it sometimes, but trying to cut it short seems like such a waste of a moment. It’s like going to listen to a band, an orchestra, or a vocal choir...and hearing a series of flat notes the whole time. It, like...bugs me. Hehehe!

But I do notice it, myself, on occasion...and while I should be trying a bit harder to correct my desire to talk too damn much when I’m writing...I’ve kind of been fighting harder to maintain my own personal sense of a personal ‘voice’ in my work than I have trying to get some better mechanics working in my favor. Is that a bad thing? A good thing? Hard to tell. It’s just how I write. My worst habits are the hardest ones to break.

Annnnnnd...even now I can feel myself getting wordy again. So let me just assume that I’ve thoroughly explained my point and move on without lingering on this any longer.

Please let me know if any of you guys ever run into this problem yourselves, and if you have any personal ways of solving it. It’s never too late for me to pick up a few extra tips myself, after all.

Ok, so one of the things that I believe contributes to me writing too much when something simpler might actually serve the story better by itself, is the insecurity of me truly fleshing a scene out to its fullest without completely translating the message that I want to send to my readers. I tend to look at every emotional scene as a three dimensional sphere. I can practically see it in my head. So, in order to faithfully describe it or translate it into words, I have to completely surround it and turn it around so that I can attack it from all sides. Maybe ‘attack’ is the wrong word to use, but I hope you get what I mean. For me, I feel my emotions very deeply. Love, anger, sadness, joy...whenever they ask me to take notice, I feel this intense curiosity to explore it from all angles. This is something that I try to add to my stories so that my audience can feel and explore it for themselves.

Sometimes, it can really work and not feel like it’s too much. But then there are times when I go back and read some of my older stuff later on, and I feel like I sound like...

 

That is a bit much, don’t ya think? Hehehe! But all of those extra words and descriptions have to come from somewhere, and they’re all focused around that one moment in time, so it feels totally natural to me when I’m typing it out. It isn’t until I go back after my brain stops buzzing and my rational mind has returned to its somewhat normal state that I can see the flaws and overly wordy descriptions that makes everything else feel out of balance. And then I find myself chained to the old editing anchor until I find ways to tone it down a bit. Especially when it comes to my ebooks. I’m constantly doing all I can to make sure that those are my best efforts on display for anyone who stumbles across them who doesn’t have a history of Comicality errors behind them. So...more writer confidence, I think, helps a great deal when it comes to restraint and keeping my experience simple and effective. That’s the key word there...effective. Everything else is garnish.

Say what you’ve got to say, trust in your instincts to have said it right, and then move forward before you get too wrapped up in adding a bunch of details that your story may not really need. It looks nice, but without the right balance...I can see how it could come off as wordy.

Something else that I’ve learned, but doubt I’ll be holding back on any time soon...is repeating myself in my fiction. I’ve trained myself to cut it waaaaay down from how much I used to do it before, but there are still times where I can’t help myself and it just feels necessary. Otherwise, like I said before...it’ll bug me.

I have a tendency to phrase a certain emotion or sensation one way...and it won’t feel like it’s enough. Which probably ties into the whole insecurity thing, but I’ll look at what I wrote in that particular moment and I’ll go back and phrase the exact same emotion or sensation a different way. One might be more of a simple statement or everyday description written with ‘easy prose’. The second way may be a bit more flowery in its language, with some metaphorical flare thrown in to enrich and enhance the picture in some way. It will be a more exquisite version of the sentence that I wrote before it...but, once I enter that territory, I end up possibly doing it again. Especially when it comes to situations like heartbreak or fear. Or trying to find the inner strength needed to combat your own demons. I end up describing these emotions in various ways, and they’re all deeply connected to that one three dimensional sphere to a point where even during the cutthroat self editing process...I don’t want to cut anything out. So I get stuck, and I leave it in there. Thus...making my story a bit more wordy than it has to be.

Now, understand...it’s not my intention to make you guys paranoid about the number of words that you use to tell a story. Hehehe, you can use as many or as little as you feel you need to get your point across. That’s up to you as an author, and I think that you should do whatever it is that makes you comfortable. I’m just letting you all know that I can be a bit extravagant with the details myself, and it’s obvious that readers over the years have noticed. So if I can find reasons to explain why I do it, and maybe find ways to shave it down a bit, then maybe I can find a new balance that will allow me to keep my own unique style of writing and not sacrifice my fans’ enjoyment of what it is that I have to say.

Something else that I’ve gotten better at trying to avoid is going off on tangents when I’m writing a certain scene. I don’t think that I stray too far off topic, but a little more focus can only help, right? At least, that’s I’m thinking. Allowing yourself to wander off or your thoughts to go astray can end up eating away at the strongest elements of the scene that you’ve built for your readers to dive into. It takes away from the impact, maybe? I’m not really sure. But when I go back to my older work to re-edit stuff that I’ve written in the past, even the recent past, I end up having to make a lot of sacrifices that I never noticed before when I was all zoned out in a different frame of mind. It helps to streamline my work a little bit more. Not by a ton, but it’s more focused than it was, I believe. Then again, I can be my own worst critic most of the time. So tightening things up here and there can only be a good thing, right?

Anyway, I promised myself that I would try to write this article with as little ‘fluff’ as possible. I was going to try to have the confidence it takes to know that my message is being read and received, I was trying hard not to repeat myself in any way ( a further extension of rule number one), and I resisted the temptation to slide off into any other tangents that might get me sharing stories or experiences that I had in the past with stuff like this.

Did it work?

Well...hehehe, I saved myself less than one thousand words. So...not really. Ah well, I tried. And one thousand words is nothing to sneeze at in terms of making improvements in my writing process. (Comsie says as his every additional word eats away at his own minor achievement! LOL!) But I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Do you ever think that your stories are a little word heavy? Or have you found the perfect balance that you were searching for and have become most comfortable with?

Or...does it matter at all? I don’t know. I just work here, man. :P

Take care, and I’ll probably go back to blathering away again in the next article regardless of this experiment. But, hey...I gotta be me!

Stay beautiful, you guys!

 

  • Like 1
  • Love 4

3 Comments


Recommended Comments

I'm in agreement with @Mikiesboy,

I always feel like I'm not using enough, and trust me when I say Comicality, your work drips with detail and I love reading it because of it.   As authors we always find ourselves being a little self critical, and I'm learning that with the feedback I get from actually posting something maybe I'm not coming up short.  Maybe I'm just different in my style of writing which seems to be a little more in your face and direct. I still feel like I could do more setting up an overall chapter or a scene without sounding cliché, and I'm working on that instead of dwelling on it.

In the end we are all wonderfully diverse, beautiful people, with varying backgrounds and personality that feed into what we write and if we can produce a work that can change a point of view, or a thought, or just make people feel something, all for the better, that's what really matters, not how you did it.

  • Like 3
  • Love 1
Link to comment

Helpful article, thanks. 

This feels especially relevant:  So...more writer confidence, I think, helps a great deal when it comes to restraint and keeping my experience simple and effective. That’s the key word there...effective.

Of course, how effective a story or passage might be depends heavily on the reader's experience and desires. So, I say... be true to your established style and do what feels right. 

 

 

  • Like 3
  • Love 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..